Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : December 12th 2015 Contents A55
Saturday, December 12, 2015 www.guardian.co.tt Guardian
LAUSANNE---Michel Platini failed to over-
turn his 90-day FIFA ban yesterday, with
the ruling coming only minutes after Swiss
federal prosecutors said they stepped up
their criminal investigation into a US$2
million payment he received from soccer s
scandal-hit governing body.
The Court of Arbitration for Sport said
its three-man panel of judges was unan-
imous in ruling against the FIFA election
hopeful s appeal, stating that the former
France great would still have time to cam-
paign for president after an expected FIFA
ethics committee verdict.
The 90-day ban "does not cause irrepara-
ble harm to Michel Platini at this point in
time," the court said in a statement.
Even if the ban had been lifted, Platini
was unlikely to have his candidacy---includ-
ing an integrity check---validated by FIFA s
election panel before the ethics verdict is
due, the court said.
Because of yesterday s ruling, Platini, the
president of UEFA, remains barred from
attending the European Championship draw
in Paris today and cannot resume cam-
paigning ahead of the FIFA presidential elec-
tion on February 26.
"Obviously, Michel Platini would have
preferred to get back to his duties," the
Frenchman s lawyer, Thibaud d Ales, said.
"But he remains very confident that he will
be cleared in the end. It s better to win on
the merits of the case than on the provisional
Platini s next legal date is Friday when
his case will be heard by the FIFA ethics
committee in Zurich. A life ban has been
requested by ethics prosecutors and a verdict
is expected days later.
Separately, Switzerland s attorney general
announced new moves yesterday to gather
evidence from FIFA and UEFA in a case
which led to criminal proceedings being
opened against FIFA President Sepp Blatter,
who is also serving a 90-day FIFA ban.
The case centres on Blatter s approval of
$2 million of FIFA money that Platini got
in 2011 as salary for working as a presidential
adviser a decade earlier. Neither body s exec-
utive committee was told when the payment
was made in February 2011, three months
before a FIFA presidential election.
Platini s lawyers said last weekend they
had a memo from a UEFA meeting in
November 1998 when he had no links to
the European body. It noted that he would
soon be appointed FIFA sports director and
be paid 1 million Swiss francs (about $1 mil-
"Given the latest developments in the
case, I can t see how we can plead our case
next week without the ethics committee s
reopening its investigations," D Ales said.
"Unless they do a rush job of it."
Swiss attorney general Michael Lauber
now has documents which Platini s legal
team say supported the claim that his salary
deal---which deferred some payment and
was not part of a written contract---was not
"The OAG (office of attorney general)
served a formal request on UEFA and doc-
uments have already been handed over and
seized," Lauber s office said yesterday in a
Lauber has also asked FIFA to explain
how Platini came to be appointed and in
what role, starting in January 1999.
Platini was questioned by Swiss author-
ities at FIFA headquarters on September 25,
and Lauber has said he is "between a witness
and an accused person."
Platini and Blatter deny wrongdoing, but
acknowledge there was only a verbal agree-
ment which they say is valid under Swiss
However, FIFA was not required to pay
Platini when more than five years elapsed
since the work was completed.
The timing of the payment also raised
suspicion, weeks before Blatter started cam-
paigning for re-election in a contest against
Mohamed bin Hammam of Qatar. Blatter
got UEFA s support and won unopposed
when Bin Hammam was implicated in brib-
ing Caribbean voters.
Platini and Blatter face sanctions for a
range of potential FIFA Code of Ethics vio-
lations, including bribery, conflicts of interest
and false accounting.
Platini s guilt or innocence was not a
factor in the ruling, CAS secretary general
Matthieu Reeb said. (AP)
mounting pressure following
Manchester United s early
Champions League exit, Louis
van Gaal says it must adjust its
lofty expectations because its
status as a European super-
power isn t the same as ten
Van Gaal appeared irritated
yesterday when asked if United
would be happy to just win the
much-maligned Europa League
this season, after dropping out
of the Champions League.
"Just? You think it s just?
I m not thinking like that," he
"We are now in the Europa
League, so now we have to win
the Europa League. That s not
easy. I can say that in advance,
but nobody hears me. They
don t want to hear me, because
a club like United has to win.
That s the past. You have to
analyse the club now, and not
compare it with ten years ago.
There is an evolution in football,
in European football."
In Van Gaal s 18-month
tenure, United has spent $375
million in rebuilding the squad,
and the Dutchman has been
widely criticised for his team s
defensive style. United is fourth
in the English Premier League,
three points off the lead, but has
struggled for goals.
"The problem is that we have
to meet with the expectations,
and the expectations at a club
like Manchester United are very
high," Van Gaal said.
"You have to manage that you
have good results and are pro-
gressing, and that we are doing.
I think in the outside world, it s
more a problem than in our
Van Gaal shrugged off reports
that his assistant, United great
Ryan Giggs, was being lined up
as the potential new manager
of Swansea following its firing
of Garry Monk on Wednesday.
"First, I have to speak with
Ryan Giggs by himself when it
is true. I think he is coming to
me," Van Gaal said.
"I never read the papers and
think it is the truth."
United s injury problems have
intensified, with the team miss-
ing nine players---including his
six most senior defenders---for
the Premier League match
against Bournemouth on Sat-
Chris Smalling and Matteo
Darmian joined an injury list
that already includes fellow
defenders Marcos Rojo, Luke
Shaw, Antonio Valencia, and Phil
With Wayne Rooney and
Ander Herrera also injured, and
Bastian Schweinsteiger suspend-
ed, Van Gaal will field a patched-
up team at Bournemouth as
United looks to rebound from a
loss to Wolfsburg on Tuesday
that eliminated the team from
the Champions League.
MOSCOW---A worker has been killed in a
fall at the construction site for a World Cup
stadium in St Petersburg, a week after another
died in similar circumstances.
The stadium s general contractor, Transstroy,
says the unnamed man slipped and fell while
fitting sheet steel to the roof of the stadium.
On December 4, the city government said
another worker had died after falling off a roof
while trying to retrieve a piece of dropped con-
struction material. The 69,000-seat arena,
which will host a World Cup semifinal match,
has been plagued by cost rises and delays.
According to reports, at least seven workers
have died at construction sites for the 2018
Platini loses appeal at
CAS over 90-day FIFA ban
Man U's injuries pile up to give Van Gaal more problems
Manchester United manager Louis van Gaal, right, talks with
Wayne Rooney during a training session at the team's training
complex in Manchester, England, recently. Rooney is out due to
injury. AP PHOTO
MUNICH---Bayern Munich says winger
Franck Ribery and defender Medhi Benatia
have muscle injuries and will miss the last
three matches before the Christmas break.
Both were injured in the 2-0 win at Dinamo
Zagreb on Wednesday in the Champions
The club gave no details about their injuries.
Ribery was playing his second match after
an ankle injury that had him sidelined since
The players will miss Bundesliga matches
against Ingolstadt and Hannover, and a German
Cup game against Darmstadt. (AP)
MADRID---Real Madrid remains disqualified
from the Copa del Rey after Spain s top
sports court rejected the club s request to
temporarily suspend its removal from the
competition for fielding an ineligible player,
a court statement said yesterday.
Madrid has appealed its disqualification
and also requested an injunction suspending
the sanction while the appeal was being con-
sidered, the statement said.
The court said Madrid s request for an
injunction had been thrown out yesterday
because "it did not fulfill the necessary
Madrid was eliminated for fielding Denis
Cheryshev in a first-leg 3-1 win over Cadiz
on December 2 in the opening round. Chery-
shev was carrying a one-match suspension
for yellow cards from last season, when he
played for Villarreal on loan.
Madrid did not realise until halftime in the
match that the suspension existed.
Yesterday s statement also said that in order
to rule on Madrid s appeal, the court would
need a report from Spain s football federation
and then call on all other parties affected by
the case "to present their allegations."
The problem for Madrid is that the second
leg is due to be played on December 16.
Madrid s appeal said the player had not
been notified of his ban in person, something
it maintained was "the only way the afore-
mentioned ban can take effect."
Madrid said late yesterday that it "respects
the court s decision, which means the return
match cannot be held on the scheduled date,"
adding that it would "with immediate effect"
refund tickets sold for the game.
The embarrassing mistake has further dent-
ed Madrid s image this season and deepened
a crisis sparked by a demoralising 4-0 home
loss to rival Barcelona two weeks ago. (AP)
Worker killed in fall at
World Cup stadium in Russia
Bayern's Ribery, Benatia to
miss rest of year with injuries
Court rejects Madrid request
to provisionally lift Copa ban
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